What can I say, my dear friends but to thank the Almighty God and rejoice in His everlasting goodness and kindness to us all. My heart is full as I stand before you today, washed over by the enormity of the wonders He has wrought. And I am grateful to all the clergy assembled here, who have led us in this stirring service.
Let me thank all of you, the many thousands that have come out here today to join us to give thanks and praise to the Lord and the many, many more around the country. Indeed, thanks to modern technology, I know there are many others around the globe who are watching and joining us in this most satisfying endeavour.
We must thank the Almighty for our country Ghana. On December 7, the Ghanaian people proved once again that we can and do rise to the occasion when the need arises. We came out on that day and conducted ourselves with dignity. I am grateful to all of you, to the millions who voted for me and the many millions who voted for others on the ballot. We must thank the good Lord for the many unsung heroes who simply performed the tasks of a patriotic citizen and did not ask to be recompensed. It is the Ghanaian way.
How can we ignore the poignant convergence of events on the evening of Friday December 9 2016? When our President His Excellency John Dramani Mahama was calling me to concede defeat in the best tradition of Ghanaian statesmanship, President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia was renouncing the surprising concession of his defeat in elections held a week before. We are a blessed people in Ghana and we must appreciate the goodness of the Lord and work ceaselessly to deserve His grace.
When we began our campaign, when we set forth on this journey, when we embarked on our electoral mission, we committed ourselves and our mission to The Lord.
We did not say the battle was ours. Did we? What did we say? The battle is the Lord’s. Did we say we could win the 2016 election by ourselves? No! Did we say we were Goliath, clad in intimidating protective armour? No. Did we say we had might? Did we say we had money or gold or silver?
We said THE BATTLE WAS THE LORD’S!
We agreed that we were David: small, meek, modest, and without the loud, exaggerated armour of money….except for a small unthreatening sling. But we kept our heads up, and squared our shoulders, and set forth with firmness and unwavering conviction. We did not blink.
Habakkuk 2:3 says: For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come.” And so we knew that THE BATTLE WAS THE LORD’S!
My personal journey to this day has been a long, long one: A journey of over four decades, working shoulder to shoulder with fellow patriots and nationalists for democracy in our beloved Ghana. Our stamina has been tested. But we kept going in the full belief that THE BATTLE WAS THE LORD’S!
The going was not easy. The road has been rough. The valleys were deep. And the mountains were steep. We stumbled many times along the way. Sometimes we came tantalizingly close to the proverbial walls of the city but, painfully the city gates were closed in our faces. But we never lost hope. We learnt from each mistake and we soldiered on, in the belief that in His own time, we will get there, better prepared.
We took inspiration from God’s word:
Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
And so we took courage and worked in the full knowledge that THE BATTLE WAS THE LORD’S!
Some of our most loyal companions have not made it to this most famous and emphatic victory. It is sad that Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who so distinguished himself in the office of Vice President of the Republic, could not witness this day; it is heart-breaking that Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, my childhood friend, is not here by my side today to savour the moment; it is difficult to accept that Adams Mahama, the dynamic chairman of our party in the Upper East Region, is not here with us; it is tragic my cousin and political neighbour, J.B Danquah Adu, is not here with us; it is sad that the bubbly Peter Wiafe Peprah is not here; it is painful that young, bright, hardworking and cheerful Kwabena Boadu is not here with us; and that Abubakar Siddique should miss this occasion. We remember them and many others and acknowledge the role they played to bring us this far.
I am expressing here today my profound gratitude to successive generations of this great Elephant Family who have stood for freedom and justice all through our country’s history, sometimes at great personal cost, and who have resisted all efforts to dismember and divide their ranks. Their fortitude, their resilience, their sense of purpose are a great credit to our nation.
It is that spirit of sacrifice and service that inspired all the members of the campaign team, led by the tireless, able Peter Mac Manu, the Campaign Manager; Dan Botwe, the Campaign Strategist; Edward Boateng, the Campaign Administrator; and Technology Director, Joe Anokye, who planned and gave us this great victory. I am forever in their debt, as I am in the debt of those who went on the gruelling campaign with me around the country, particularly, Alan Kyerematen and Otiko Afisa Djaba. I cannot leave out Diana Asamoah, Cindy Thopmson, Agya Koo, Lucky Mensah, Praye Tintin, Praye Tiatia and all the other great stars who left their comfort zones and came on the rugged terrain of party politics and made such a great contribution to our victory. Many thanks also to the media, many of whom made a determined effort to take our message to the Ghanaian people. They are part of this positive history.
It is always invidious to single out individuals on such an occasion, especially when there were so many who helped in diverse ways, but I hope that everyone will understand if I single out the young man whom I know is going to write a brilliant chapter in the economic history of our nation, and whom God has given to me as my Vice, Mahamudu Bawumia, who made an inestimable contribution to the success of our effort. I look forward eagerly to working with him for the progress of our beloved Ghana.
The contribution of our respective wives deserves a book of its own. For the time being, let me just merely say thanks Samira, thanks Rebecca. And I thank the scores and scores of people who gave their widow’s mite to keep our campaign afloat.
And, today, here we are. The good, discerning and God-fearing people of Ghana have spoken resoundingly. We are grateful to God for preserving the peace of our nation through this election, despite the apprehensions and fears of many citizens. We conducted ourselves LARGELY peacefully.
I do recognize that there have been some instances of misconduct and altercations that should not have happened. Such behaviour is unbecoming of us. I call on all Ghanaians – everyone – to act with kindness, generosity and magnanimity towards one another, and to forgive anyone who may have wronged or hurt you. Remember: THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S
Now, even as we praise God for his immense kindness and Grace towards our country, we also know that we have a lot of work ahead of us. It is a task that we can and will perform with your support, with your hard work; with your unceasing prayers AND WITH THE FULL BLESSING OF GOD.
Isaiah 40:31 says: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Let us, then, renew our strength and our faith, and get ourselves ready for the work ahead. I have no doubts at all that with God on our side, we shall succeed.
The good Lord has promised that in His own time, He will make all things beautiful. This is His appointed time.
And that is why THE BATTLE IS STILL THE LORD’S!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND OUR COUNTRY GHANA.